A new revolutionary republican socialist party with a base in Derry has accused Sinn Fein of “unparalleled treachery”.
Saoradh, which was formed last year, says Sinn Fein has “capitulated to and assimilated into British imperialist structures” and abandoned all “principle and ideology”.
In a wide-ranging interview with the ‘Journal’, a spokesperson for the party in the city says its ultimate objective is the “overthrow and replacement of the ideological concepts which underpin the imperialist capitalist state”.
The party says it agrees with 1916 Easter Rising leader James Connolly’s analysis that partition only serves to divide the working class and foster a climate of reaction.
“Saoradh are not reformers,” said a spokesperson “We don’t care much for reform. We want to change the mechanism of society. We seek the complete emancipation of the working class and the abolition of all exploitation.”
Turning to the existing political situation in NI, the party is unequivocal in its analysis.
“In the Six Counties, we remain forcibly and illegally occupied with a Quisling administration in place. The collapse of this administration only underlines the revolutionary analysis that an internal settlement that practices capitalism, institutionalises and rewards sectarianism and promotes a counter revolution is doomed to fail.
“Saoradh believe there is little point struggling for a united Ireland if the sole result of that struggle is for the Irish working class to be subject to new masters and exploiters under the banner of an Irish Republic. The freedom Saoradh strives for includes freedom not just from imperialism and occupation but exploitation, inequality, unemployment, inadequate housing and the many other social ills capitalism creates.”
Saoradh also appears to have little interest in elections.
“History has shown us that standing in bourgeois elections has generally been the beginning of co-operation with the oppressors. Our history is littered with the failures of successive ventures into the very system they set out to overthrow.”
Turning to ‘armed struggle’, Saoradh says it recognises the “historical and contemporary realpolitik that demonstrates that, as long as imperialism remains the dominant power, there will be women and men willing to engage in armed resistance.
“Saoradh, as a party, does not have armed resistance as a means to achieve its goal of the establishment of a thirty two county socialist republic,” the spokesperson added.
It also dismisses claims of links to the so-called ‘New IRA’.
“As is demonstrated in our publicly available party constitution, Saoradh is an autonomous revolutionary party that has collective leadership, transparency, accountability and unrivalled internal democracy. Saoradh does not, or will not, come under the control or influence of any other organisation - armed or otherwise.”
Today, in Ireland, says the Saoradh spokesperson, “we live in a fascist state where to express one’s opinion freely or to quote historical figures on the use of armed resistance is to invite imperialism to oppress and imprison you.
“Saoradh believe that the dystopian reality George Orwell envisaged is alive and well under British imperialism in Ireland.”
The party also dismisses claims that it, and others collectively described as dissidents, are “conflict junkies waging war against peace”.
“The only ‘conflict junkies waging a war’ are the British forces of imperialism and their agents who forcibly uphold the illegal occupation of the six counties, namely the thousands of British soldiers stationed in the occupied six counties, the thousands of armed PSNI Crown Forces’ militia personnel and the unknown number of MI5 spooks who remain at war.”
Peace, says Saoradh, isn’t simply the absence of war or conflict.
“It is the existence of justice and equality,” says the spokesperson. “These eradicate the causes of conflict and war. The Irish people have never known peace. Despite protracted periods of the absence of war, the conditions fostered and imposed on us have ensured perennial conflict. The Irish people have a right to peace. They have a right to political and socio-economic structures which are capable of sustaining peace.
“Those who claim permanent peace, justice, democracy and equality cannot refute that the abiding and universally accepted principle of democracy is denied to the Irish people.”
Turning to Sinn Fein, Saoradh says its stance on the party is well known.
“Sinn Fein’s capitulation and assimilation into the British imperialist structures, their abandonment of principle and ideology, not forgetting their embrace of capitalism, is well documented and a matter of public record.
“Sinn Fein have failed to realise their objectives over a hundred and ten year period, not just twenty five years.
“Saoradh recognises the difficulties facing revolutionary republicans and seek to make the radical ideology relevant once more. Only with a sound ideological grounding, structures based on collective decision making, activism with ongoing engagement and commitment, can we seek to build the party fit to make qualitative change.
“Saoradh is well aware that this will be a laborious process. The world is in a hurry. We are not.
“We continue to witness the unparalleled treachery of Sinn Fein. Never before in the history of the revolutionary republican struggle against imperialism have people attempted to continue to use the name of revolutionary republicanism while they implement British imperialist rule in Ireland.”